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Chris Lindstrom says Smith brings 'mindset of an offensive lineman' to head coach

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Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom was gifted with a specific (okay, very particular) set of skills. He's surprisingly agile for such a massive human, with the power and drive to consistently dominate opponents. There's also a mental component to this gig that few have, involving the will to perform an often-thankless job at great physical toll.

Experience creates empathy in this situation, bonding offensive linemen across generations and current rivalries. In other words: If you know, then you know. The O-line experience is hard to express any other way.

Arthur Smith gets it. He was a guard in his playing days, last at North Carolina, before coaching became a career.

That's why first-year Falcons head coach understands what his offensive linemen go through more than most. He knows their value firsthand. That isn't lost on the linemen under his employ.

"We're always grateful to have an offensive lineman as a head coach," Lindstrom said last week. "I had one in college [in former Boston College head coach Steve Addazio] and it was great. Coach Smith thinks in the mindset of an offensive lineman, and always means what he says. And, as a player, you can't expect anything else than that."

Smith admits to having a fondness for the position, offensive linemen can't be his favorite sons. He has to split his time across all units and position groups now that he's running an entire team after years as a position coach and offensive coordinator An inherent respect remains, however, for what the offensive linemen do after being in the trenches as a player.

"I think it's, like with all of the players, obviously we all go back to our own experiences," Smith said. "Maybe a bias there, but I try to spend time with all of the positions and try to think about it from their perspective, whether that's Josh Harris or Younghoe [Koo] or Chris Lindstrom or Duron Harmon or Erik Harris back there. I obviously didn't play DB, don't look like a DB, but you try to see it from everybody's perspective, so I try to spend as much time as I can with everybody. Certainly, we do go back to our experience and I do love the offensive line, but, like all of them, like I tell my kids, I love all of my kids the same."

While that's certainly true and evident seeing Smith move around the practice field during sessions open to the press, Lindstrom can see a gleam in Smith's eye when he's focused on the position he used to play.

"It's always fun, you see him smile when he comes over the [offensive line's individual drills]," Lindstrom said. "He has a little pride in it. He enjoys it. As a group, when you have the head coach come down to your individual period, there's a little extra juice."

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Lindstrom is getting some love!   Check this one out!


Falcons' Chris Lindstrom makes PFF's top 25 players under 25 list

June 16, 2021 10:45 pm ET

Top Rated


After being omitted from Pro Football Focus’ top 25 players under 25 list in 2020, the Atlanta Falcons just barely made this year’s cut. Right guard Chris Lindstrom was the team’s lone representative, coming in at No. 25. The former Boston College standout was one of two offensive linemen selected by Atlanta in the first round of 2019 draft, along with right tackle Kaleb McGary.

PFF’s Sam Monson credited Lindstrom for “major improvement” during his second year starting.

“His rookie season was solid enough, but Year 2 saw a major improvement from the former first-round pick in Atlanta. He elevated his PFF grades to north of 70.0 in all areas of the game, allowing 29 total pressures across 724 pass-blocking snaps. Lindstrom always had legitimate talent, and offensive linemen often show their best play in Year 3, so 2021 could be his year.”

Lindstrom comes in as the fifth-best offensive lineman on the list. Tristian Wirfs, Michael Onwenu, Mekhi Becton and Isaiah Wynn were all ranked ahead of the Falcons guard. Of the five offensive linemen selected, Lindstrom allowed the third-lowest pressure rate at four percent.

For Atlanta to be successful in 2021, Lindstrom is going to need a breakout performance. Matt Ryan has been sacked 30 or more times every season since 2012. Lindstrom spoke on what it’s like to have Arthur Smith, a former offensive lineman, as a head coach.

“We’re always grateful to have an offensive lineman as a head coach,” Lindstrom said.  “I had one in college, too and it was great. Coach Smith really thinks in the mindset of an offensive lineman, he means what he says, and as a player, you can’t expect anything else than that.”

Smith played offensive line for the University of North Carolina from 2001 to 2005, eventually becoming a graduate assistant at the school once his playing days ended.

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I think AS was the best choice for head coach given his experience on the oline and commitment to being a no nonsense coach. It's about time we start getting some players in the trenches and I hope that it comes to fruition this year. The Era of building from the outside in has come to a close and we need to get dirty with other ball clubs.

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28 minutes ago, NashvilleFalcon01 said:

I’ll wait and see. The lady coach was a D-Lineman and our pass rush sucked. 

The pass rush didn't suck. Man, I wish people would learn the difference between pass rush and sacks. There is a vast difference.

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